Zondervan purchases BibleGateway.com
According to Christianity Today, Zondervan has acquired Bible Gateway and Gospel.com. Apparently their owner, Gospel Communications has been running its internet department in the red for several years. From the article:
Why has Zondervan acquired BibleGateway and Gospel.com?
We have a vision that if we create a lot of synergy across all Christian content providers, we can have more impact on the Internet. As part of this vision, we felt we had to have the best Bible reference in the world. BibleGateway has a very publisher-independent solution and is the most widely-used Bible reference site in the world, so we thought it would be a great starting point to build something even more spectacular for online access to Christian biblical content.
Will expanded digital offerings run the risk of cannibalizing your existing print audience?
Google and MySpace are big senders to the site. Our belief is that if somebody gets interested in the Bible digitally, they will go and want their own copy. So we do think it will trigger additional Bible sales. What we’ve found with Christian books in general is that the highest purchasers of digital content are your highest purchasers of print.
Zondervan seems committed to creating a useful Bible-study website and not just a vehicle to push their NIV Bible. Since Bible Gateway is a sister site to MySpace, it’s interesting to read their take on social networks.
As an aside, Zondervan is an imprint of HarperCollins which is in turn owned by media conglomerate News Corporation. By extension, News Corp. now owns websites as diverse as Bible Gateway and MySpace and publishes everything from the NIV Bible to the New York Post.